Is God Omnipotent

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Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 09:55 pm
Okay I'm not tryin to be offensive or anything. I'm just ran across this and thought it would be a good thread.

God is supposedly Omnipotent (All powerfull) and so, can he create a boulder so huge that he can not lift it?
Now, If you answer yes then he can not be all powerful as there is something he can not do (he wont be able to lift the rock). If you answer no there is also something he can not do (create the rock)
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 10:06 pm
@philosopherqueen,
Quote:
God is supposedly Omnipotent (All powerfull) and so, can he create a boulder so huge that he can not lift it?


Can we place God in such a human situation?

This question requires that we first establish some things about the nature of God. My suggestion would be that notions of God which allow for such speculation are probably misguided - I mean, it's not like anyone has ever seen God picking up rocks. Wink
 
philosopherqueen
 
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 10:09 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Yeah I am starting to think you are a comedian!!!!
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 11:39 pm
@philosopherqueen,
or picking up anything!
 
Farthender
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 10:59 am
@iconoclast,
Well, what do you mean by "all-powerful"? Does this mean that he possesses all conceivable power? You're example shows that this would contradict itself. But, perhaps "all-powerful" means that he possesses all non-contradictory power. Thus, he can do everything as long as his abilities do not contradict each other.

Now, I do not necessarily believe this, but since God clearly cannot possess all conceivable power, I think that this definition of "all-powerful" is a much more practical one for this discussion. I'm sure, too, that there are some other and probably better definitions of "all-powerful". Either way, it's clear that God cannot have all conceivable power, for if he did, his various powers would contradict themselves.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 02:54 pm
@Farthender,
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 11:24 pm
@Aristoddler,
4 billion years of evolution in order to ask if God can make a rock so big he can't lift it. ah well. why relate size and mass? a singularity is small, but infinitely heavy, so that even if god was infinitely strong - it'd be a stalemate. maybe that's where he's been since the dawn of time - trying to shift a singularity. he should really give it up but the thing is, he believes in himself!
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 12:02 am
@philosopherqueen,
philosopherqueen wrote:
Okay I'm not tryin to be offensive or anything. I'm just ran across this and thought it would be a good thread.

God is supposedly Omnipotent (All powerfull) and so, can he create a boulder so huge that he can not lift it?
Now, If you answer yes then he can not be all powerful as there is something he can not do (he wont be able to lift the rock). If you answer no there is also something he can not do (create the rock)



Your provocative constraint pertaining to the abilities of omnipotence would also suggest that unless an Omnipotent Presence is capable of self destruction, then the claim of omnipotence would maintain validity, but the very nature of omnipotence only knows existence to be consistent with invoking immortal supremacy.
 
Ruthless Logic
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 12:19 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Can we place God in such a human situation?

This question requires that we first establish some things about the nature of God. My suggestion would be that notions of God which allow for such speculation are probably misguided - I mean, it's not like anyone has ever seen God picking up rocks. Wink



How come it is not surprising you response contains "we". Place God in such a human situation? Please refrain from devolving conversations into pathetic analogies consisting of child-like distinctions.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 03:00 am
@Ruthless Logic,
My best guess is that you have to imagine that God is prepared to discuss the situation involving the large boulder with the inquired guests rather than simply leap into the action of solving it with the physical prowess It may entail.

Now imagine God could create the universe in the form of a rock and of course it could not be lifted outside the form that is the universe. I wouldn't care that it could not be lifted as my sole question would be , where is there room for me and my world to exist without being simple minerals that are stagnant within the rock. Should that be of course what we are not anyway. So I really cannot answer the query myself and I have no point to add so as to embellish the question to fit a response by God.
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 05:59 am
@urangutan,
I also have come across this question in numerous forms before, as well as similar ones about God's obedience to logic- can he create a four sided triangle? What strikes me first is how we project our human values onto (or more likely into) God, the image of the greatest man. God made man in his image? I think man made God in his image and furthermore these questions don't delve into the depths of God's workings, exploring the nature and limit of such a thing, they just highlight the complications and paradoxes which arise because of inconsiderate applications of omni-values on God...

Also, if God created the universe (space and time included) he must be outside of space and time, therefore God can not interact in space with objects let alone move them in time, a rock and God existing on the same plane is a ridiculous concept because a rock occupies space and is moved (changes) over time.

Dan.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 06:19 am
@de budding,
Sorry to all who read my last post. It is more sarcastic than I had intended and was certainly discurtious to many who have posted on this thread. I had thought it would come across more in a manner that could be laughted at (even a little), rather than appearing as though I was sneering at the guests in this forum.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 06:21 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
I also have come across this question in numerous forms before, as well as similar ones about God's obedience to logic...


Good post and well-spoken retort.

This is part of the beauty of debating something that's so obscure. Its right on par with "Let's debate the characteristics of what we can't agree even is...".

For theists, there's a plethora of definitions of god; and well-intentioned folks have tried endlessly to define what god is and god isn't. Qualified to an absurd extent, we debate our beliefs in a loose-fitting garment that can take almost any shape, occupy any space, even to the pinnacle of ambiguity (e.g., everything and nothing at all!), and so on we go...

So yea, of course people try to frame their beliefs in a framework based in humanity's preceptive boundaries. No, I don't subscribe to any of it, but I think it's an understandable tendency.
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 12:55 pm
@Khethil,
I think Hume conveys my sentiment quite well in this quote...

'The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise, and good being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom.' -Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. (Hackett Publishing. second edition.)

Dan.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 06:17 pm
@de budding,
Quote:
How come it is not surprising you response contains "we". Place God in such a human situation? Please refrain from devolving conversations into pathetic analogies consisting of child-like distinctions.


I thought we were done communicating. Shame, too, as I was so happy to be rid of your worthless posts - I can't even bring myself to call your posts contributions.

Once again, you prove yourself to be the most capable of providing text and no content. Pat yourself on the back.

Quote:
I also have come across this question in numerous forms before, as well as similar ones about God's obedience to logic- can he create a four sided triangle? What strikes me first is how we project our human values onto (or more likely into) God, the image of the greatest man. God made man in his image? I think man made God in his image and furthermore these questions don't delve into the depths of God's workings, exploring the nature and limit of such a thing, they just highlight the complications and paradoxes which arise because of inconsiderate applications of omni-values on God...


Right. The language arround God can be taken literally, but I think doing so misses the point. Language about God is not God. We shouldn't mistake the directing finger for the moon.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 06:44 am
@philosopherqueen,
philosopherqueen wrote:
God is supposedly Omnipotent (All powerfull) and so, can he create a boulder so huge that he can not lift it?
The problem with this scenario is not the way it queries the abilities of God but rather its use of negation.

To say "God CANNOT create a boulder that he cannot lift", the use of two negatives makes this tantamount to saying "God can lift any boulder that he creates." It's the ambiguity of the word "can" that makes it seem like it's God's abilities that are in question, whereas in reality it's the tenability of the scenario that is in question.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 07:20 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
The problem with this scenario is not the way it queries the abilities of God but rather its use of negation.

To say "God CANNOT create a boulder that he cannot lift", the use of two negatives makes this tantamount to saying "God can lift any boulder that he creates." It's the ambiguity of the word "can" that makes it seem like it's God's abilities that are in question, whereas in reality it's the tenability of the scenario that is in question.


Sure, true. But transform the same sentiment into a cogent form and the intent of the question remains. For example: Can God create a boulder so big, or so heavy, that he can't lift it?

I'm not a theist by any means, but if I take your meaning right, even I'd agree that its a loaded question (loaded in its structure). Still... good to see y'all try and flesh this one out - always entertaining :p
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:40 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
Sure, true. But transform the same sentiment into a cogent form and the intent of the question remains. For example: Can God create a boulder so big, or so heavy, that he can't lift it?
But it's the response that matters, right? -- and as you say it's the loading of the question that sets up the paradox in the answers. It's like when a lawyer creates a yes/no question out of a more nuanced subject -- and forces the witness to commit to an answer that's not really correct -- it just goes to rhetorically support a case.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:59 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
I think Hume conveys my sentiment quite well in this quote...

'The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise, and good being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom.' -Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. (Hackett Publishing. second edition.)

Dan.

But what, then, is 'God'?
 
de budding
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 04:06 pm
@Arjen,
Arjen,

A projection of human desire and expectations? The result of a need to know and a crutch for us all. I think it is Nietzsche who sais somthing like- if you want to be happy choose religeon, but if you want to be truthful go exploring.

Dan.
 
 

 
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